If there is enough interest we will be holding a Seder meal celebration on Maundy Thursday (14th April) at 7pm at Dorset gardens Methodist church. A cold meal will be served. It is a free event but donations accepted. Please bring a small dessert to share! If you would like to come then please let me know so I can prepare the right amount of food. Please also let me know if you have any dietary requirements. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , or call me on 07476 667353.
I’m a bit split today. On the one hand I want to talk about it being Shrove Tuesday, about pancakes, Lent, and Easter. On the other hand I want to talk about what’s happening in the Ukraine. But perhaps there’s a natural segway?
Lent is about preparing for Easter, both the horrors and the miracles. On the one hand Lazarus is returned to life – much to the joy of his family and friends; and Jesus rides into Jerusalem to crowds of people praising God whilst they lay their coats and palm branches in his path. But then there’s the unpleasantness in the temple where Jesus virtually causes a riot, the betrayal, abandonment, trial, and crucifixion. Yes, there’s a wonderful and miraculous conclusion as Jesus rises from the tomb, but there are such horrors in the story too.
And yet, at the centre of it all, Jesus instigates the eucharist at the last supper. He helps his disciples and friends see that they are all one body, all one life, and that he is forever the fulcrum point of it all. My favourite part of the Easter story is Maundy Thursday’s Seder meal, where we celebrate God’s love and the saving grace that redeems us all from the shadows within us that threaten to drag us down.
Right now Putin’s shadow is dragging the whole world down. His shadow, and I mean the ego that blocks out God’s love, is a darkness in the world, and nowhere more so than in the Ukraine. All dictators stand in the way of the light, blocking it out, pretending to be that light. In Matthew 6 Jesus said “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” When all you can see is your own ego, when your personal ambition becomes the light that you offer the world as the light, then nothing can be created except darkness and shadow. We have seen it in the past with the likes of Hitler. We see it now in the ambition of Putin.
So, what can we do? To start with we can pray. Prayer has power. Every prayer is a ray of light penetrating the darkness, and it can really make a difference. Not always in ways that are immediately discernible, but prayer really does make a difference.
And, if you can afford anything, give a little financial help. There are many wonderful organisations. For example the Red Cross is making a real difference on the ground. But I would personally ask you to give a little to our European friends in MCC. Florin Buhuceanu is in Romania and helping to get folk out via Moldova. He is presently working with 17 people from Ukraine (an lgbt+ activist form Odesa, a group of queer artists (who include 2 wounded persons form Kiev) ,and several allies from the local human rights movement). He has already managed to get a local LGBT+ activist and her pregnant wife out of the country, and with local connections can work under the radar. I have known Florin for some years, and he is working hard to save as many as possible. He needs our support.
Of course, getting people out takes money. If you can help then please send a donation to The Village MCC in the usual way (see below) and mark your gift ‘Ukraine’. Keith will make sure that it reaches them quickly.
I’d like to leave you with a prayer from mcc, as it reaches out with the very same thoughts that I would like to express.
And as you go through this week, concerned about those in Ukraine, and also concerned what the future might hold, my prayers go with you too.
With love – Rev. Michael xx
God of love and peace,
we give thanks for your abiding presence with all of your people,
in all places at all times.
And right now, we join our hearts in prayer for:
the people of Ukraine as they face the reality of war,
those who are fleeing their homes and homeland in search of refuge;
those who are grieving the loss of family members and friends who have perished;
those who have sustained injuries and are in pain;
those who are afraid, in distress, full of doubt;
those whose families are separated by borders or policies that we have created;
the other creatures of the earth who are in need of care and shelter,
the pets left behind and disoriented by the abrupt changes they are experiencing.
We pray for the people of Russia who likewise face the reality of war,
those who are protesting against the actions of their own government, and facing danger because of their courage;
those whose families and heart-connections are across an arbitrary border, in danger because of the actions of their own country’s leadership;
We pray for the volunteers, aid workers, medical personnel, journalists, and others whose vocations and convictions put them in harm’s way;
We pray for our queer siblings in all of these situations, and those who are otherwise marginalized,
those whose fear, pain, grief, and sense of danger are increased because of who they are or whom/how they love;
We pray for the entire human family, the interconnected web of all life,
as we grieve this current situation of unnecessary conflict and violence.
And for all of the prayers we do not know how to articulate or voice,
may your Spirit intercede for us with sighs too deep for words.
Continue to guide us in your ways of compassion and peace.
In your mercy, O God, hear our prayers. Amen.
To make a donation please use these details:
If you’d like to contact me you can do so by emailing me at email@example.com.
Sunday March 6th in-person worship service at
Dorset gardens Methodist Church – 6pm.
Sunday April 3rd in-person worship service at
Dorset gardens Methodist Church – 6pm.
Thursday April 13th
THE SEDER MEAL
PLEASE BOOK A PLACE ASAP
by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 07476 667353
Dorset gardens Methodist Church – 7pm.
(Doors open 6:30pm)
EASTER SUNDAY April 17th in-person worship service at
Dorset gardens Methodist Church – 6pm.
Sunday services are recorded and then, when available, posted on Facebook.
On the Sundays when the church is not meeting in-person,
please join us for ‘Sunday Connection’ on Zoom at 6pm
The events are recorded and then, when available, posted on Facebook.
Recordings are all available on our Facebook page.
Zoom : 504 390 105, code 2020
The Passover Seder Thursday April 14th at 7pm.
PLEASE LET ME KNOW YOU ARE COMING SO I KNOW HOW MUCH FOOD TO PREPARE. ALSO PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU HAVE ANY DIETRY REQUIREMENTS.
Passover is the oldest and most important of Jewish religious festivals and marks the beginning of the Jewish religious year. It is based on the rituals of ancient Israel preserved mostly in Exodus 12-14 in which Israelites celebrated their deliverance by God from slavery in Egypt. The term Passover refers to the 10th and final plague God brought upon the Egyptians to persuade Pharaoh to let the people go, the death of all the firstborn of Egypt. In obedience to God’s instructions, those who believed placed the blood of a lamb on the door posts of their homes, so that death would “pass over” those homes. The festival actually celebrates the entire sequence of events that led to the Israelites’ freedom from slavery. While thoroughly based in those biblical events, the celebration encompasses much more as it becomes a vehicle to celebrate the very nature of God and God’s gracious work in the world. It is in this larger dimension that Jesus adopted the Passover service as a sacramental remembrance of God’s new work of deliverance in Christ, and allows Christians to celebrate this ancient festival. And perhaps in these uncertain times, when our freedom is limited, our liberty curtailed, we need more than ever to remember the promises of God.
Lord, we lift Wendy as she prepares for even more extensive surgery. Please be with her, may her preparations go well, and may she be scheduled for this operation soon.
We lift Suzy as she recovers, and hope that she is able to get back to normal soon.
We ask for God’s Spirit to be with Robert, Tony, Sarah, and Charlie, as they recover and navigate nhs services. May a healing spirit touch them all.
We lift all those recovering from Cancer, and those who are still shielding. The world is a scary place with Covid still a danger to health. Please be with us all as we navigate these difficult times.
We pray for those who are lonely, those who are known to us and those who are not. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
If you would like to add a prayer to the newsletter then please email me at email@example.com. – Michael x
Dear friends at the Village MCC,
We’d really appreciate it if you could share Switchboard’s Crowdfunder campaign with your networks. This LGBT+ history month we’re celebrating by raising money to invest in LGBTQ futures. We need to raise vital funds to keep our communities supported, connected, and informed as we recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic. We’re asking for donations to our Community Build Back Fund. All donations to our Crowdfunder will be doubled, thanks to match funding by the National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund.
Ever thought about becoming an elected councillor in Brighton and Hove? If so, there’s an online event that you might find interesting. The events will take place on Monday 7 March, 1-2.30pm and Tuesday 8 March, 6.30-8pm.
Eligibility requirements to be a councillor include:
- British citizen or a citizen of the Commonwealth or European Union
- At least 18 years old
- Registered to vote in the area or have lived, worked or owned property there for at least 12 months before an election.
Please click here for more information: webpage on the role of being a councillor
Hello everyone at The Village MCC, We were wondering of you may be able to assist us. Knight Support is a Homeless Charity who helps street homeless, we also supply the council and other support accommodation sites in the city providing essential items for people going into emergency accommodation. Everything we receive we give to others, we are a 100% volunteer led team and also run a weekly Outreach at the Peace statue on a Sunday Evening.
We really need some help as we are at breaking point.
We are sadly having to stop deliveries to everywhere other than supply our own Outreach and Firstbase because we don’t have premises in Brighton and our team’s own mental health is being affected by this stress. Do you know of anywhere with some space we could store donations we receive from the public, have some Volunteers there to sort donations and sent provisions out to those in need? There wouldn’t be homeless people visiting or any storage of perishable items. Any help or advice around this would be really kind and we would be grateful of any help you can offer us?
Lynne Knight – Co-Chair and Founder
07847741980 – Knight Support CIO – RCN 1190776 – www.facebook.com/knightsupport – www.knightsupport.org.uk
Keeping up to date with MCC Internationally
Do you receive emails from the MCC denomination? There are updates on the way churches around the world are meeting this crisis, along with prayers, support, and much much more. If you would like check out what newsletters are available then please email:
Sarah Barber is our Lay Delegate, and a link with the denomination. Please contact her at the church email address if you would like to know more about how The ‘Village’ MCC fits into the International Church.
Pastoral Care Team – 07476 667353
Pastoral care continues. Call or text the church mobile and leave a message, and someone will get back to you. When the pandemic first broke we tried to reach out to everybody at least once a month. As time has gone on we have reduced our pastoral care calls to those who have either requested them or are at high risk. Of course we don’t want to miss anybody out so if you would like to connect then please let us know
Would you like to give a gift to aid the work of the Village MCC?
Giving to The Village MCC.
‘The Village MCC’ is self-financing, we do not receive any central funding. If you would like to support the work we do, there are a number of ways to do so.
If you would like to set up a regular monthly Payment to The “Village’ Church, which is the best way for us to budget for our work, Please email the treasurer at; firstname.lastname@example.org, you will then be sent the details of how to do this.
If you wish to make a single donation You can send a direct payment from your bank account using the following details From the UK:
• Lloyds Bank
• sort code 77-91-29
• account number 40361660
• account name The Village MCC
• Please use the reference ‘Collection’
Please also email the Treasurer at email@example.com to let them know to expect a payment. • There is also a donate button on the Church Website at thevillagemcc.org if bank transfer is not possible. If you do not have access to the internet, you can still make a donation with your debit card. Please email the Treasurer at; firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a phone call to make this payment.